Sounds of Summer
The heat and humidity are making the August summer days into a sauna. And all around the islands are the sounds of summer – cicadas. The male cicadas are the noise makers producing their finest song to annoy the humans, and to attract the female cicadas. They have a drum like sound chamber structure called a timbal that creates their unique sound. For a variety of insect sounds, check out the “music of nature”.
The cicadas of Florida are not part of the periodical cicadas better known as the 13 or 17 year cicada (depending on where you come from). In Florida the cicada species may emerge on an annual basis.
In reading the University of Florida feature creature article on cicadas of Florida http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bugs/cicadas.htm one species does reside in the Florida Keys; I am sure there are others but I will need to investigate further for an answer.
- Diceroprocta biconica (Walker) – Keys cicada. Keys and Everglades; song is a loud continuous high-pitched buzz.
Female cicadas species vary in their preferred egg laying sites, such as: woody tissue of small branches or onto grasses or forbs. Once the nymph emerges from the egg it drops to the ground and burrows into the soil, and searches for a plant root to feed upon. The cicada nymph will live underground passing through multiple nymphal stages before emerging as an adult.
The links in this article were updated in April, 2013.
Photo Credit: UF/IFAS, Lyle Buss